Summer Farm Happenin's

7:55 PM Adrian 0 Comments

Well, summer isn't really here yet, but it might as well be.  Summer CSA has begun already!  This past stretch of hot, hot weather has really got us all sweating out in the fields...running around and watering things...getting our skin to burn, peel, and tan.  It's been so dry, and we avidly await the next series of storms...we really need it.  And we need a break!

Of course, summer also means the hot vegetables are coming!  That would be tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplants, and squashes.  This morning we got a whole lot more tomatoes and peppers into the ground in our greenhouse.  More freshly planted squashes are sprouting between our head lettuces, in the spaces that the big ones we pulled left behind.  No eggplants in the ground yet!  We have yet to make room.  Fortunately we have a variety of eggplant that doesn't take too long to get to maturity...most varieties take four months to mature from germination!  We still have cool weather crops for harvesting too, so don't worry!  We have a LOT.  Another round of pac choi heads are on the way.  We've got arugula and radishes in plenty.  No end to our lettuces yet, spinach keeps coming on, and it seems that we'll have a few more weeks of asparagus!  Our beets are getting bigger and bigger, and we'll have some sugar snap peas ready for the picking in no time.

We also have a vegetable that will appear in your next CSA box, but which most of you might not be too familiar with, it's kinda like broccoli but the florettes are smaller...broccoli raab!  Also called rapini.  We harvested a pound of it in a restaurant order just the other night, I got a few nibbles and it was pretty tasty.  Apparently some Italian cooks are nuts about putting rapini in their dishes.  An interesting thing to know is that broccoli raab and turnips are both the same species!  They diverged when they were selected for different traits: some plants for their swollen, tasty root, and some for their succulent florettes.  Thus you get broccoli raab and turnips...both share the same common wild ancestor.  If you were to take them both before some biologist or taxonomist, he/she would say they are the same...yet on a culinary level, they are entirely different.  Anyways, you will get that in your next box!

We were stoked to see everyone show up to market to pick up their first big CSA box of the year!  Well, except a few people, we hope to see them soon too!  Saturday market will bring a whole other group of CSA members to pick up their shares.  We hope everybody will like everything, and we all hope that you have a great week filled with delicious food.  See you next week!

What to expect next week:
  • Salad Mix
  • Braising Mix
  • Arugula
  • Cilantro bunch
  • Spinach (bag)
  • Pac choi head
  • Broccoli Raab/Rapini (bag)
  • Spring Radish bunch
  • Asparagus bunch

(We are out of rhubarb!  :(  Sorry it did not appear in the last CSA box, even though we said it would.  It abruptly left us.)
 

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Recipes

Broccoli Raab with Carmelized Onions Recipe (simplyrecipes.com)

Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into slivers, lengthwise (with the grain)
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe (raab, rapini), rinsed and cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
 1- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions, spread out in a thin layer. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened and then lightly browned. (Tip: to speed up the caramelization process you can sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the onions.) If the onions start to dry out at all, lower the heat (you can add a little water to them too.) They should brown, but not get dried out.
  
2- After you start the onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. The onions take at least 15 minute to cook, so you'll have time to get the water boiling. Salt the water (about a tablespoon of salt for 3 quarts of water). Prepare an ice bath, fill a large bowl half way with ice water. Add the rabe to the boiling water. Blanch for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the boiling water and put in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Shocking the rabe with ice water will also help keep the rabe bright green colored.
Note that some people blanch their rabe, some do not. Rabe can be rather bitter, so blanching will help take the edge off of the bitterness. If your rabe isn't particularly bitter, or you like bitter greens, you can easily skip this blanching step.  Drain the ice water from the rabe. Use a clean tea towel to gently wring out the excess moisture from the rabe.

3- Once the onions are lightly browned, remove them from the pan to a bowl. Using the same pan, add another Tbsp of olive oil and heat the pan on high heat. Add the chili flakes. Once the chili flakes start to sizzle, add the garlic. Once the garlic just starts to brown at the edges add the broccoli rabe and the onions. Toss the rabe mixture so that it gets well coated with the olive oil. Cook on high heat until most of the moisture is gone, about 5 minutes if you blanched first, a minute or too longer if you skipped the blanching.

Penne with Sausage & Broccoli Raab (cooks.com)

1 lb. of penne pasta
1 lb. sweet sausage
1 bunch fresh broccoli rabe
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can chicken stock
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 to 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Clean broccoli rabe and steam or boil in water. Strain and set aside.2. Cook sweet sausage in frying pan, adding a little water so it does not burn. Cover pan and cook until sausage is no longer pink. Set sausage aside and cut each sausage link into 1/4 inch diagonal slices.
3. In sausage drippings, saute minced garlic. When garlic is golden, but not brown, add can of chicken stock. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Put cornstarch in small bowl and add a ladle of chicken stock. Mix and stir until thick and smooth.
5. Add cornstarch paste into rest of stock and continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring continuously until thickened.
6. Boil pasta and strain. Place in serving bowl.
7. Combine cut up sausage, 3 to 4 sundried tomatoes broken into bits and broccoli rabe. Stir into sauce and top over pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


 Honey-Topped Radish Tartines (brightonyourhealth.com)

Ingredients
  • 1-2 medium slice Rye or Pumpernickel Bread
  • 1-2 tablespoon Fromage Frais or Greek Yogurt
  • 5 Mild Flavored Radishes such as French Breakfast Radishes, sliced thin (Milder tasting radishes are best for these breakfast tartines.)
  • 1 tablespoon Honey (Best if the honey was slightly runny in order to top the tartine properly.)

Note: French Breakfast Radishes are well known in France for their year round availability and mild taste. They are a perfect topping for this breakfast tartine. Don't be weary of the potential strong flavor of this breakfast sandwich. It is a wonderful combination of slight tartness and texture, soft cheesy feel and sweet honey.  High health benefits of radishes are abundant and are a great addition to the breakfast tray!

Directions

1- Spread carefully the fromage frais or greek yogurt completely onto the bread.



2- Add the sliced radishes on top of the fromage frais or greek yogurt.
3- Drizzle the honey on top of the tartine from top to bottom.
4- If the bread is a large slice, cut in half and serve.


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Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

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